Research

Stories about Princeton research relevant to a corporate and foundation audience.

  • Princeton scientists discover chiral crystals exhibiting exotic quantum effects

    Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019
    by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

    Crystals possessing “handedness” exhibit unusual properties. New evidence suggests that they can host electrons moving like slowed down light and their collective behavior mimics magnetic monopoles.

    An international team of researchers has discovered that certain classes of crystals with an asymmetry like biological “handedness,” known as chiral crystals, may harbor electrons that behave in unexpected ways.

  • Speed limit on DNA-making sets pace for life's first steps

    Monday, Mar 18, 2019
    by Scott Lyon, Office of Engineering Communications

    Fruit flies make for stingy mothers, imparting only a portion of the genetic building blocks their offspring need to survive. The rest must be produced by the fertilized egg in its first few steps of growth.

    Scientists puzzled for two decades over this seemingly unnecessary withholding. Now researchers at Princeton University have shown that the inhibiting mechanism, controlled by an enzyme known as RNR, is key to the embryo's survival. Too much material early on leads to disaster for the fledgling lifeform.

  • Algal library lends insights into genes for photosynthesis

    Monday, Mar 18, 2019
    by Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research

    It isn't easy being green. It takes thousands of genes to build the photosynthetic machinery that plants need to harness sunlight for growth. And yet, researchers don't know exactly how these genes work.

  • Princeton faculty to test new Microsoft Station B platform toward goal of boosting production of lifesaving biological therapies

    Tuesday, Mar 12, 2019
    by Princeton University

    UPDATE March 11, 2019: A post for Microsoft’s Innovation Stories blog describes the Station B platform, which researchers from Princeton will test to investigate the formation of biofilms — surface-associated communities of bacteria that are the leading cause of microbial infection worldwide.

    A Nov. 28, 2018, announcement of this collaboration between Princeton and Microsoft is below. 

  • Doctoral research helps develop tool to probe plastics’ behavior down to the molecular scale

    Friday, Mar 8, 2019
    by Adam Hadhazy, Office of Engineering Communications

    Consider the humble tire. Sitting outside on a frigid winter day, it's hard as a stone, yet when spinning under a drag racer, a tire becomes warmly pliable. For everyday materials, from glass to rubber to plastic, these fundamental changes in behavior are determined by the glass transition temperature.

  • Data science tool that reveals molecular causes of disease shows power in infant cancer analysis

    Thursday, Feb 28, 2019
    by Steven Schultz, Office of Engineering Communications

    Princeton University researchers are gaining new insights into the causes and characteristics of diseases by harnessing machine learning to analyze molecular patterns across hundreds of diseases simultaneously. Demonstrating a new tool now available to researchers worldwide, the team of computer scientists and biologists has already uncovered and experimentally confirmed previously unknown contributions of four genes to a rare form of cancer that primarily affects babies and young children.

  • Good news for future tech: Exotic ‘topological’ materials are surprisingly common

    Wednesday, Feb 27, 2019
    by Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research

    In a major step forward for an area of research that earned the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics, an international team has found that substances with exotic electronic behaviors called topological materials are in fact quite common, and include everyday elements such as arsenic and gold. The team created an online catalog to make it easy to design new topological materials using elements from the periodic table.

  • Steinhardt's changing views from Big Bang to Big Bounce featured in Simons Foundation video

    Thursday, Feb 21, 2019

    The Simons Foundation recently featured Princeton University Professor Paul Steinhardt in its web video series, "Four Minutes With."

    Steinhardt, a 2018 Simons Fellow in theoretical physics, explains how he has changed his thinking on cosmic inflation and the Big Bang theory and is now reconsidering a "Big Bounce" cyclical theory of the universe. Steinhardt was a key developer of the inflation theory. 

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